Jonathan Quick sets new Kings record with 9 shutouts


The funny thing about the Los Angeles Kings overall-disappointing (playoff berth or not) regular season is that they’ve gotten the one thing that’s been missing for a huge chunk of their franchise history.

For those who are uninitiated, the Kings have had their highs and lows, but rarely have they enjoyed stellar goaltending – even in their better moments. One cannot totally separate his accomplishments from the great defense in front of him, yet Jonathan Quick might just be that franchise goalie Kings fans have always dreamed of.

That possibility was made reasonable on Wednesday night as Quick shut out the Calgary Flames to helping Los Angeles win the Sutter Bowl against the Calgary Flames 3-0, breaking the Kings’ single-season shutout record with nine and greatly improving their playoff chances in the process.

It’s simple to say that Quick has done everything for the Kings, but that’s not totally fair. One could see that the team’s tight defensive system bolsters his numbers – and perhaps inhibits the group’s offensive talent to an extent in the process – yet his stats are undeniably impressive.

His win-loss record won’t impress Vezina Trophy voters attached to old standards, but make no mistake about it: Los Angeles wouldn’t even be in the playoff chase if Quick wasn’t standing on his head.

Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout > Ryan Miller’s shutout


The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres locked each other up to a 0-0 stalemate through regulation and overtime, meaning that Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Miller essentially earned shutouts. It’s unlikely that Miller feels all that great about his goose egg compared to Lundqvist, though, as the Rangers ended up with the 1-0 shootout victory.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Lundqvist had 34 saves while Miller collected 29. Here’s video footage of Hank discussing his performance.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

James Reimer exhilarates Leafs fans with 32-save shutout


Don’t blame Toronto Maple Leafs fans for feeling exhilarated right now, even if it’s just one game.

The team still has unsolved questions – the most pressing one might regard the health of center Tim Connolly – but two of their wild cards came up aces in a 2-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. James Reimer looked sharp in his first game of the season, stopping 32 shots on his way to a shutout. Reimer earned the Maple Leafs’ first opening night shutout since Oct. 7, 2000, when the team produced another 2-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens. (Curtis Joseph was the Leafs goalie on that night, making 26 saves.)

Judging Reimer’s outlook based on one game is even more dangerous than assuming that his first 25 NHL games are a clear indication of the future, but it was still a great performance. The Maple Leafs were out-shot 32-18 in their season opener, but Reimer was the biggest difference-maker.

As if that wasn’t dazzling enough, the Leafs enjoyed great nights from their sometimes-criticized marquee players. That was most clearly seen in the game’s insurance goal; Phil Kessel made a heads-up play and then sent a nice pass to captain Dion Phaneuf, who rifled a shot past Carey Price.

Coming back from tough injuries

Leafs fans might have seen those performances coming, but Matthew Lombardi’s contribution was far more surprising. He didn’t just manage to play earlier than expected in his first game back from concussion issues; Lombardi notched the game-winning goal on a rebound while playing shorthanded. Lombardi and Mike Brown created a rush on the penalty kill, as a shot sent Carey Price to the ground. Price couldn’t get up in time to stop Lombardi, who pounced on a rebound to score his first goal since April 10, 2010.

Overall, it was quality over quantity for Lombardi, though. He only played a little more than 11 minutes and took just two faceoffs (which he lost). You can understand head coach Ron Wilson’s decision to ease him back into the lineup, though.

Speaking of players returning from tough injuries, Max Pacioretty played in his first regular season game since that ill-fated Zdeno Chara hit last season. The up-and-coming Habs winger played a bit more than 15 minutes, threw two hits, took four shots and had a -1 rating.


Again, some Toronto fans are probably dreaming of watching their players shake open champagne bottles and raise the Stanley Cup, but most are reasonable enough to put this win in perspective. Seeing a sharp Reimer and a healthy Lombardi – not to mention good games from Phaneuf and Kessel – won’t make them feel glum, though, either.

Tim Thomas gets his fifth shutout, Bruins top Flyers ironically 3-0

Just in case you have forgotten through the early part of this year, Tim Thomas is doing pretty well. Heading into tonight’s battle with the Philadelphia Flyers, Thomas’ stats were ridiculous. A 1.56 goals against average, a .951 save percentage and four shutouts. With a little revenge on their minds from last year’s playoffs, the Bruins got what they were looking for and Tim Thomas got his fifth shutout in the process beating Philly 3-0.

Thomas made 41 saves in the win, most of which were of the ridiculous and acrobatic variety. Thomas frustrated Flyers shooters all night long, meanwhile, the Bruins were getting the goals needed to get Thomas the win. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin had first period goals and Milan Lucic added an empty net goal to finish things off.

The win snaps a two-game skid for Boston and gives the Bruins a slight taste of redemption after dropping a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals back in the spring, ultimately losing the series in seven games. If you think that last year’s playoff failure Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards capped off the broadcast after Lucic’s empty netter saying, “Good night Irene! It’s three-zero and there’s not going to be a comeback tonight!”

For Philly, the loss is their third in a row and opens the door for the Penguins to overtake them in the Atlantic Division tomorrow night. Sergei Bobrovsky was solid in the loss saving 29 shots. For the Flyers, they’ll try to snap out of their funk on Saturday at home against New Jersey.